Ingka Group - one of 12 different groups of companies that own Swedish furniture and homeware giant IKEA - has got the green light to buy a 5500ha sheep and beef station in the Catlins for forestry development.
Following recent approval by the Overseas Investment Office, an area of 330ha at Wisp Hill , in the Owaka Valley, would soon be planted with radiata pine seedlings.
The long-term plan was to have a total of 3000ha - more than three million seedlings - planted in the next five years and the remaining 2200ha would "naturally regenerate into native bush", a statement from the company said.
Ingka Group owns about 248,000ha of forestry in the United States, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.
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Between September 2019 and August 2020, Ingka Group planted close to 7 million seedlings.
Ingka Investments managing director Krister Mattsson said the company was delighted to expand its forestry portfolio into a new country.
Wisp Hill is owned by Southland brothers Leonard and Graham Ward, who have a manager running it.
A leaseback requirement would allow the Ward family to properly phase out their operations over a minimum three-year period.